Album Review: My Mind Makes Noises by Pale Waves

Posted by Bianca on Monday Aug 20, 2018 Under Album Review

Review by Rob Johnson

There is a misconception amongst casual music listeners that there is such a thing as an ‘overnight success’. In reality, for every award, every hit single and every massive show, there are untold hours of blood, sweat and tears that each artist needs to endure before they can own their success.

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Manchester’s Pale Waves burst onto the scene in 2018, featuring in both the influential BBC sound of 2018 poll, and the NME Under the Radar award as well as having a fierce reputation as a live act. In truth however, lead singer and guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie, drummer Ciara Doran, guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood have been playing together under the Pale Waves moniker since way back in 2014. In short, they have earned their shot at the big time.

Debut album My Mind Makes Noises is due to drop on Dirty Hit records on 14th September and, naturally, expectations are high. Does the record live up to the hype? You know what? It pretty much does.

Opening with the triumphant, synth-led Eighteen, My Mind Makes Noises is a record that embraces pop music whilst still being in thrall to instrumentation. Think Haim or Wolf Alice. The other ace-up-the-sleeve for Pale Waves is the fact that while they lean on the ‘80s for their sound, their music still sounds fresh and exciting. Indeed, the band crib all the best bits of ‘80s pop music and ‘90s indie to produce something exciting and futuristic, as seen on tracks such as There’s a Honey and Television Romance.

A minor criticism is that Pale Waves have struck on a formula that works for them and they rarely budge from it. Atmospheric verses, soaring choruses, synth and guitar; ad infinitum. But when you can make that formula work time and time again, this repetition barely matters. The Ramones had a system. Pretty sure it worked for them. Having said that, 14 songs is a lot for a debut album and while there is no filler here, tracks such as Noises and Black don’t bring much to the table.

One intriguing notion is the comparison to be made here between Pale Waves and artists such as Blink 182 or even Avril Lavigne. If you replaced the synth with chugging guitars on songs like Red or Drive you could be listening to a pop punk album circa 2002. This is not a criticism. Pale Waves have managed to capture pure pop goodness like lightning in a bottle. This album will be massive.

My Mind Makes Noises – released 14th September 2018 on Dirty Hit Records.

My Mind Makes Noises Tracklisting

EIGHTEEN
THERE’S A HONEY
NOISES
CAME IN CLOSE
LOVELESS GIRL
DRIVE
WHEN DID I LOSE IT ALL?
SHE
ONE MORE TIME
TELEVISION ROMANCE
RED
KISS
BLACK
KARL [I WONDER WHAT IT’S LIKE TO DIE]

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Pale Waves’ UK + Ireland Tour Dates

SEPTEMBER

Fri 21 – GLASGOW SWG3
Sat 22 – NEWCASTLE Boiler Shop
Sun 23 – SHEFFIELD Foundry
Mon 24 – LIVERPOOL O2 Academy
Tue 25 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy
Thu 27 – LONDON O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Fri 28 – MANCHESTER O2 Ritz

OCTOBER

Mon 01 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Tue 02 – SOUTHAMPTON Guildhall
Wed 03 – BRISTOL O2 Academy
Fri 05 – BELFAST Elmwood Hall
Sat 06 – CORK Cyprus Avenue
Sun 07 – LIMERICK Dolan’s Warehouse
Mon 08 – DUBLIN Academy

Tickets are available here: https://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/pale-waves

One Response to “Album Review: My Mind Makes Noises by Pale Waves”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Bingley Music Live at Myrtle Park, Bingley, Yorkshire, UK – 31st August, 1st + 2nd September 2018 Says:

    […] Waves promise to be huge if their debut album is anything to go by and, at Bingley, lead singer and guitarist Heather Baron-Gracie has a great […]

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